POWAY, Calif. — Dozens of people came together to show their support for the Chabad of Poway Friday night, nearly a week after the synagogue shooting that killed one and injured three others.
“Love,” “Unity,” and “Poway Strong” were just a few words highlighted in bold as residents joined forces across from the Chabad of Poway.
“What we are doing tonight is standing shoulder to shoulder. (We’re) showing our unity … welcoming our differences. Building the spirit of inclusion and showing love and support,” Melissa Lazaro said.
Lazaro told FOX 5 it was a group of Poway moms that brought the “Stand for Love” event to life. “Some of us have had shirts made (saying) how we identify, whether it be religion, gender, whatever it may be,” Lazaro explained.
People proudly touting their different beliefs and backgrounds then stood together with words of comfort as members of the Jewish community walked into the synagogue to attend service.
“I just want to support everyone out there. No matter what, God loves you. You’re going to be okay,” Lazaro said.
“Our faith is much bigger than our fear. I want to make sure that we can take our community back and make people understand that we’re all about love,” Poway mother Dr. Gianne Brintwood said.
Well before families arrived, Christian Gardner showed up with his own sign that read, “Who blesses Israel is blessed”.
“I had the day off and I thought I would come and bless these people here,” Gardner told FOX 5. Little did he know a larger group would be joining him later. “That just shows that we all have the same wonderful heart, and again, we’re all in it together.”
The Rabbi asked media to give the congregation privacy during a service Friday. However, he did invite those who stood outside in support inside for the service. The group said they will hold the “Stand Against Love” event again Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m.